Rep. Lamont Robinson Advances To Runoff In 4th Ward As Challengers For 2nd Spot Go Down To The Wire

KENWOOD Rep. Lamont Robinson won a spot in a runoff to replace Ald. Sophia King in the 4th Ward, but it’s not yet clear who his opponent will be because his two closest challengers are separated by just a handful of votes.

With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, Robinson had received 46 percent of the vote. Candidates need at least 50 percent to avoid a runoff.

His closest competitors are Prentice Butler, outgoing Ald. King’s chief of staff, who got about 15 percent of the vote, and real estate attorney Ebony Lucas, with 14 percent.

Butler and Lucas were separated by 60 votes, with some mail-in votes possibly remaining to be counted.

The 4th Ward includes parts of Bronzeville, Kenwood and the South Loop.

“We are enthusiastic about the results and committed to ensuring all the votes are counted,” Butler said. “We want to thank the voters who made their voices heard and every candidate who made their case. We look forward to a robust discussion moving forward and earning the support of 4th Ward residents.”

“We’re looking at the numbers and waiting. We wait and see what happens with the mail in ballots,” Lucas said. “Overwhelmingly, the ward is looking for change and an independent mind to lead and do not want a machine candidate.”

Six candidates — Robinson, Butler, Lucas, Helen West, Tracey Bey and Matthew Khari Humphries — vied to replace King as she mounted a campaign to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot. King earned about 1.2 percent of the vote in the mayoral race, finishing far from the runoff.

Butler, who has been part of the 4th Ward office since 2011, announced his candidacy in October. Days later, Robinson also jumped into the race, even as he was running unopposed in the November election to keep his seat in the Illinois General Assembly. The Clark University alumnus is the state’s first openly LGBTQ+ Black lawmaker and has represented the 5th District since 2019.

Robinson received a major endorsement from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle — herself a former 4th Ward alderperson — while Butler won the blessing of King.

The ever-growing ward is dealing with several challenges, with public safety top of mind for many residents.

To that end, Butler pointed to the private security pilot program King’s office launched in October to patrol commercial areas in the ward. Robinson promoted his efforts to get state funding for crime prevention measures.

Candidates also debated issues like how to reduce noise and disruptions from Grant Park concerts and how the city should support neighborhood schools as Chicago Public Schools moves forward with a controversial plan to build a new high school in the neighboring 3rd Ward.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.

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February 28, 2023 at 10:20PM

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